Monitoring Monica

Cyclone Monica looks like it’s going to follow pretty much the same track as  Ingrid last year: directly westward skirting the north coast straight across Cobourg Peninsula and Melville Island and then on out into the Timor Sea. Cyclone Monica looks like it’s going to follow pretty much the same track as  Ingrid last year: directly westward skirting the north coast straight across Cobour Peninsula and Melville Island and then on out into the Timor Sea.

But we’re watching it closely, just in case Monica takes a slight left turn like Cyclone Tracy did.   It was a category 4 cyclone with maximum winds of 250 kph or so  at the centre.   Monica is currently a category 5 with winds 100 kph stronger than that at 350kph.   Darwin houses are required to be designed to withstand a strong category 4 cyclone, but a lot would sustain major damage if Monica retains its present strength and hits Darwin squarely.  

Monica’s ultimate track should be much more evident by around 8pm this evening.   It should be approximately over Cobourg Peninsula by then.   If it’s still tracking dead west we’ll stay home.   If it’s showing any signs of a southerly skew we’ll jump in the car and head south down the Stuart  Highway (along with thousands of others, I suspect).

           

Update – 11am Monday – the forecast just released has Monica hitting Darwin at around 10-11am tomorrow, and still being at category 4 intensity at that point.   Time to start packing and securing loose objects.   Darwin Met Burau forecaster Andrew Tupper:

“It’s a very large, well-organised system, and a cyclone that size doesn’t go to nothing in a day.

Monica would prove a serious threat even if it weakened, Mr Tupper said.

“Our most optimistic forecast is it will be a category three at Darwin, we’re preparing for a category three and a category five would be the most pessimistic.

“A category three cyclone is still a very serious cyclone – we’re tracking it very carefully and hoping it will change course.

“We’re expecting gales will affect Darwin, there’s almost no way around that.

“The edge will hit about dawn tomorrow and the core will approach later in the day.

“Even if the track changes Darwin will still receive a glancing blow.”    

PS – Jacques Chester provides a link to a new Cyclone Monica  site containing live webcam shots, weather maps and a range of other Cyclone Monica stuff.   I’m waiting for my daughter to bring my car back so  I can go home and start stowing away stuff that could blow around.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Jezery
Jezery
15 years ago

“Cyclone Monica looks like it’s going to follow pretty much the same track as Ingrid last year: directly westward skirting the north coast straight across Cobour Peninsula and Melville Island and then on out into the Timor Sea.”

The BOM aren’t quite so sanguine. They’ve got her heading almost straight for Darwin.

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDD65811.shtml

“If it’s showing any signs of a southerly skew we’ll jump in the car and head south down the Stuart Highway (along with thousands of others, I suspect).”

Nup. We’ll be hunkered down at home in Howard Springs. We’ve got torches and batteries, candles and matches, fuel for the little genny to keep the fridge/freezer running, water and chocolate.

I’m working on the theory that the better prepared we are, the less likely we are to need it!!

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
15 years ago

The serious panic buying should be starting about now. I went and stocked up yesterday.

Personally I plan to stay at home – the dunny shed is concrete and rebar and should hold up pretty well. I think that the roof might come off the house so I’ve been wrapping things up.

The US Navy reckons Monica will pass to the south of Darwin – probably a direct hit on Noonamah – plus the Bureau reckon it’ll lose some oomph over the Coburg Peninsula.

Still, it’s bloody scary.

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
15 years ago

I wish you the best of luck. The trees around this house were pulled out years ago for just that reason.

But I am not really prepared to take flight. I’d feel happier staying put, even if it is a monster.

Wicking
Wicking(@wicking)
15 years ago

Yep, it’s certainly time to take this seriously. We’ll be sticking around. My wife’s already decided it’d be way too hard to abandon our house. Although we’re in Millner, an older suburb like Ken’s, our house is relatively new and built to code. Fingers crossed and best of luck, Darwinites.

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
15 years ago

Relevant link:

http://monica.infoaddict.net/main.php

A few folk have webcams up, with more to come. Hooray for the intarwebs.

Link
15 years ago

Good luck and I hope that your trees withstand the battering and don’t fall on the house. It must be a strange feeling leaving it behind and wondering what will happen, but I think you’re wise to split, although I can understand why one would want to stay.

Paul Watson
15 years ago

Maybe I’m missing some Territorian deliberate-understatement-in-the-face-of-peril, Ken, but I reckon that saying Tracy took a “a slight left turn” at Cape Fourcroy is a bit *too* casual. Not only did Tracy turn 90 degrees there, she further adjusted her aim very late in the piece to head due east. This meant that she was able to take a direct hit on Darwin from the sea (no mean feat for a cyclone originating to the NE, which is the “land”/sheltered side of Darwin).

Had Tracy not changed her final approach she would have instead “only” taken out the mainly-Indigenous populated Cox Peninsula. It seems that Tracy had issues with white Darwin back in ’74. Funnily enough, Darwin in late ’74 was also a hotbed of Larrakia anger, following the bulldozing of a subdivision in suburban Coconut Grove, over land that the Larrakia had been semi-officially promised was as good as theirs.

Anyway, stay safe, and do not assume anything about Monica’s path until she crosses the coast for good.

Paul Watson
15 years ago

For “the bulldozing of a subdivision” (above), substitute: “the bulldozing of rainforest for a subdivision”.

Ref: Bill Day, *Bunji* (1994) Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
15 years ago

It seems that Tracy had issues with white Darwin back in ’74.

It was divine punishment for godlessness, don’tchaknow?

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v5/i1/darwin.asp

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
15 years ago

Here’s hoping for all of you. Take care.

susoz
15 years ago

I hope your dog’s okay through it! Where did you leave it?
(And I hope all of darwin is okay too.)

John Wilkins
15 years ago

Good luck to all of you. I hope you don’t need it.

Ian
Ian
15 years ago

We’re hangin’ tight in George Cres, boys and girls – see ya all on the other side :-) :-)

BTW I’m with the USN; passing slightly to the South – here’s crossing everything. Cheers.

Jimbob
15 years ago

Geez, I moved here from Adelaide 3 days ago, and this is the welcome I get? Thanks, Darwin. I’m staying at the Airport Resort, where people were still doing laps of the pool a couple of hours ago.

saint
15 years ago

Watch a cyclone in comfort?!?

Stay safe everyone.

Paul Watson
15 years ago

“Phew” to all concerned, with Monica now clearly not a Big One (‘cept if you live in or around Maningrida).

Ken wrote: “The Larrakia were long ago given title to all the undeveloped land along the Coconut Grove/Ludmilla foreshore (“Kulaluk”

Jezery
Jezery
15 years ago

Well that was all a bit anti-climatic, wasn’t it?

My theory – that the better prepared we are, the less likely we are to need it!! – holds true once again.

Bill Cushing
Bill Cushing
15 years ago

I was at Davidson’s (Mt Borrodaile), nth of Oenpelli, last September. A magical place. Looks like it was right in the path of the cyclone. Hope all there are OK.

John Quiggin
John Quiggin
15 years ago

Another bullet dodged! Glad you’re OK.

Nabakov
Nabakov
15 years ago

Gather you survived Ken and jen.

Now you’ve got the cleanup ahead. The garden looking like a bombed salad.

Glad you’re all ok. I’ve been through a few cyclones and hurricanes m’self and they’re pretty awesome and nasty buggers.

david tiley
15 years ago

Paranoia may feel silly, but it sure can be a survival strategy.